FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH OF THE NINTH PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL GUARD AT GETTYSBURG 1910

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Item Code: 1054-196

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The open land of the Gettysburg battlefield formed a convenient place not only for G.A.R. reunions, but also for National Guard encampments, drills, and maneuvers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. (The same was true for some other national battlefield parks. Chickamauga was home to many Spanish American War troops.) In this photo the twelve companies of the 9th Pennsylvania National Guard have been drawn up for the camera. On the left the regimental band and drum corps are massed, two of whom have propped their bass drums up at an angle to show painted designations on the drum heads. The field and staff officers are mounted and in front. The infantry has been drawn up in three columns of companies. At the head of each are two or three mounted officers, so the unit was likely organized into three battalions. Off to the right a corps of bicycle-mounted troops pose with rifles slung over their backs, likely regimental messengers or scouts. Behind them two small detachments of ten or a dozen men are drawn up, likely the regiment’s medical detachment since a horse-drawn army ambulance stands to their rear. To the right rear are several large tents and to the left are what appear to be small tents and company streets. In inscription in the negative at bottom identifies the troops as the “9th Regiment N.G.P. / Gettysburg Pa. 1910” and gives the photographer’s credit at right as, “O.W. Waterman / Hampton Va.”

Two sizeable military gatherings took place on the battlefield that year. One was a “Camp of Instruction” held in June that brought into town about 10,000 US and National Guard troops. This photo is more likely from the second, held in August, when National Guard troops camped on the field of Pickett’s Charge and the Diehl, Spangler and Trostle farms, and used the area south of Big Round Top for maneuvers. It was noted that YMCA tents were available, some of which might be the larger tents at the rear of the regiment.

The photo is in excellent condition and is housed in a period black frame with raise floral edge decoration.  [SR]

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